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Jun 21, 2005

The Emperor's New Clothes...

Emporer...and he's got a new bucket of cerebrospinal fluid for his brain parts too. He's also got the regulation bling make-over and is looking every bit as important. He's also embarking on a Jamie's School Dinners exercise and filleting humans and creating Tellurian Twizzlers. But the Daleks are half-human. Sort of. Is someone trying to usurp Matthew Jacob's crown for dumb-assed lines?

Satellite 5's license was suspended cos they stopped broadcasting wall to wall reality game shows. Should ITV manage to achieve the same result then there would be a national outpouring of gratitude.

JackkissCapt'n Jack's tongue finally sees some action. The "gay" kiss isn't the first for Doctor Who, Tachyon TV broke that exclusive news some months ago, but it's nicely done. I can only imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth that will ensure following that scene. I guess that the people who'll have a problem with the Doc kissing a girl will be exploding, at periodic intervals over the next week, at the sight of him getting a snog from a man.

HolodocDoctor offers to take Rose to Marbella to escape all this death and destruction. And with talk of a visit to the planet Barcelona what's the betting that the Doctor's ship takes on a garish orange livery for the next series and has the phrase easyTARDIS emblazoned down all four sides. And with the current fashion for sexual innuendo that phrase could have a double meaning. A dimensionally transcendental knocking shop, anyone? Emergency Program 1. A holographic Doctor. Where have we seen that before? It's all a little George Lucas. I was half expecting a cheesy swipe transition to take us into the next scene.

ChickensAnd whilst the world of the future burns, the chickens turn. Shock whilst you learn that the pizza place on Mintner Road sells pizzas. And the fact that the cafe they're sitting in has gone up market and has started selling coleslaw. But it tastes clinical. Perhaps that's the repeating theme for next year's series, aliens who are attempting to infiltrate the galaxy through the provision of tainted 'slaw. Either that or it's got something to do with chickens. That's the second time we've had poultry mentioned, to my recollection.

When the Daleks are spewing from the Emperor's ship I swear that there's the flash and the click of a speed camera as one Dalek flies past. Perhaps Daleks are behind the technology used by police forces up and down the land. Unless it's the other way around and Davros was in fact a lowly desk Sergeant who was frequently overlooked for promotion and took his revenge in planning the creation of a deadly race of mutants who could seize control over the entire Universe and give him what he always wanted, to become a Detective Inspector who doesn't play by the rules and is seen as a bit of a maverick. Teamed up with a wet behind the ears side-kick he solves crime after crime in the sleepy little crime-ridden hamlet of......

BadwolfI think I can get my head around the Bad Wolf repeated meme explanation. It's kind of a game of Countdown throughout space and time, with Carol Voderman playing the important part of the TARDIS (with the rest of the TARDIS being played by versatile character actor and the only voice you ever hear on Radio 4 Martin Jarvis). So all the messages were leading Rose to rip apart the TARDIS console with a 24 Hour coach works rescue vehicle.

GenesisdoctorI thought that things were building nicely up to another classic Genesis of the Daleks moment, "Hail the Doctor, the Great Exterminator", and I suppose it does in its way. Back then the Doctor chickened out (poultry again) only to regret it and try to return to finish the job. But here the Doctor freely admits to preferring to be a coward.

Now, let me see, is there something I've forgotten...? Oh yes, there was a regeneration tacked onto the end.

RegenerationI think it was fairly criminal how the regeneration was all but thrown away. I thought that the entire series was building up to this but all we get is a little trembling hand, a look of worry from the Doctor and in a flash, some other bloke. How much better it might have been if there was no explanation about what was happening, if Rose didn't witness it and she came too in the TARDIS with some strange bloke standing there in the Doctor's clothes. Yes it might have been a little too Time and the Rani but it would have allowed the audience to wonder what the hell had just happened along with Rose.

Above all it was the ending that made me go back and view the episode again before I could make my mind up about it. I was left fairly non-plused by it all first time round. But having seen it again I think I can just about live with what happened in the last few minutes in the TARDIS. Everything before that was first class.

Well, that's that. Closing statements to follow when I've got a moment...

Comments

No mention of Lynda (with a y)'s demise! I thought that was well done, especially with the jealous looks Rose had been giving her beforehand. I think that the doctor should have pushed the bloody plunger at the end, too - 200,000 years is more than enough, thank you! A fun episode and a fitting conclusion to the series, mind. Good review.

I think if they hadn't shown the regeneration there would have been a tremendous uproar! And at least the reason for the regeneration was more momentous than, say, collapsing after a bit of turbulance in the TARDIS at the hands of a evil Time Lady with big 80s hair.

Of course, I'd really like to have a regeneration story where the regeneration itself is central element to the story. But, given that the BBC can't seem to keep their trap shut, it would be very hard to make the audience doubt that the Doctor really had generated.

One question, given that RTD made a big thing of Eccleston's northern accent ("Lot's of planets have a north"), how's he going to explain the fact that the 10th Doctor's changed his accent? It would have been better to ignore the whole accent thing in the first place.

You can read this two ways:

1) the regeneration was purposefully tacked on so we'd all fall off our chairs if we had never found out about Chris leaving

2) the entire episodes builds to a regeneration (he sends Rose home, says he is in fatal danger, says goodbye, declares himself a coward, awaits death, and then does the noble thing and sacrifices himself for his companion. Finally, he attempts to cushion the blow for her when the moment comes

or

3) it's completely tacked on

It's official then - the new Bad Wolf is a chicken. Hmmmm.... Sky falling in, anyone? Who is the bad chicken? Let's start the ball rolling. After all, RTD has admitted there's another meme which has been planted - and seeing Q's screen-grab just seals it.

"Nobody here but these chickens - well, this chicken"
"And the coward survives"
"Coward, always"
Roasting chickens

This must be it!

GC: One question, given that RTD made a big thing of Eccleston's northern accent ("Lot's of planets have a north"), how's he going to explain the fact that the 10th Doctor's changed his accent? It would have been better to ignore the whole accent thing in the first place.

I have a theory that since the TARDIS translates alien languages into a language understood by the listener (i.e. in Rose's case English) it also provides the speaker not with a regional accent, but an accent which suits them; it's an advanced version of the translator used by the programme Eurotrash. Okay, so the Council of Time Lords all have RP because they're a bit stiff, the fourth Doctor spoke with an actorish sort of voice because he was an extrovert, the seventh Doctor had a Scottish accent because he was darkly philosophical, the ninth Doctor has a mancunian accent because he's miserable - what's more appropriate for a miserable Time Lord than an accent from the area that bought us Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses etc. The tenth Doctor has a cheeky chirpy and chipper sort of accent cos he's cheeky and chirpy and chipper.

Neil, perhaps Tachyon TV has already spotted the Series 2 repeated meme. Perhaps it's the "23-6-801" number sequence. We all thought that would appear in "The Parting of the Ways" but it didn't. Perhaps it's going to appear in Series 2 Episode 13, instead.

Just to ask...

Apart from on the hymn board in "Father's Day", does anyone remember exactly where the 23-6-801 sequence turned up in Series 1?

I don't think you can pull the same repeated meme thing again. I believe I've seen an interview in which RTD says something likt "we're trying something similar in the second season and the words have already appeared in the current series" - but not being able to find the source I don't know the exact words or even if I didn't dream it. Surely it can't be words scattered through time again.

Mark,

The interview in question was with CBBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_4100000/newsid_4104500/4104586.stm

I think it would be a mistake to do a "Bad Wolf" style thing for Season 2.

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